Michael Bateman was born in 1932, and was educated at Abingdon School, Berkshire, and at Oxford University, where he read English. He did his National Service in the Royal Artillery, serving in Hong Kong.
Bateman had a variety of jobs, including time as a teacher, before becoming a journalist in Fleet Street. In 1964 he produced the matchstick series "KINKS" for the Daily Mail, signing himself "M". He later wrote the captions for a strip cartoon, and in 1966 published a study of cartoons and cartoonists entitled Funny Way to Earn a Living.
- Michael Bateman Funny Way to Earn a Living (Leslie Frewin, London, 1966).